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Pelvic Washing and Cancer Cells

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

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What is pelvic washing?What is pelvic washing?


A pelvic wash, also called peritoneal washing cytology, or PWC, is a procedure in which the pelvic cavity is irrigated ("washed") to check for cancer cells that have migrated beyond the cancer’s point of origin. Fluid is instilled into the abdominal cavity and washed around the abdominal organs, then withdrawn and analyzed for the presence of abnormal cells. A positive result may indicate that the cancer has begun to spread (metastasize).

Some doctors believe the presence of stray cancer cells in the pelvic wash is meaningful, while others do not. If you do not know if a wash was performed during your surgery, look for the word “cytology” on your report or simply ask the doctor or nurse to check the detailed report for you. Most oncologists do perform at least one wash during surgery.

If you do get a positive result for cancer cells in your pelvic wash, do not panic. Most doctors will recommend radiation therapy in such a case, and the radiation will most likely take care of any stray cells remaining in your abdomen.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

08-21-2011 - 10:58 PM


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Katherine Hsiao, M.D.
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San Francisco CA 94118
415-876-8500
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Magee Womens Hospital
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412 641 6412
heath miller, M.D.
1101 madison street
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seattle WA 98104
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Arnold Advincula, M.D.
Columbia Ob/Gyn Midtown
51 West 51st St, 3rd FL
New York NY 10019
(855) 75-OBGYN
Debra Richardson, M.D.
Gynecological Oncology Clinic - SW Med
2201 Inwood Road Suite 106
Dallas TX 75390
214-645-4673
Gerald Harkins, M.D.
Department of OB-Gyn
P.O. Box 850, H-103
Hershey PA 17033
717-531-6447
Geoffrey Cly, M.D.
Suite 101, 11123 Parkview Plaza Drive
Fort Wayne IN 46845
260-969-5530
Aarathi Cholkeri-Singh, M.D.
120 Osler Drive
Ste. 100
Naperville IL 60540
630-428-2229
Susan Carter, M.D.
North Colorado Medical Center/ MCR
1800 15th Street, Suite 220
Greeley CO 80631
970 353 1335

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